Make Peace with Sleep
Half a century ago, at the height of the Vietnam War, John Lennon and Yoko Ono bedded in for two weeks as a nonviolent protest to promote peace. As the war in Ukraine rages on, nuclear catastrophe looms, and countries tensely divided into strategic standoffs, another silent unrest plagues people the world over reaching breaking point, namely, the shattering of sleep.
External conflicts mirror inner chaos. How we sleep reflects our mental states. Nowadays, it is far from peaceful. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, there was a sudden surge in nightmares around the world, coinciding with heightened levels of anxiety and emotional stress in the general public. A similar phenomenon was observed and reported during World War II.
Even before the Pandemic, the average person in North America was already sleep-deprived due to the busy modern lifestyle. With the added stress from the Pandemic, Climate Change, and the threat of World War III, sleep is no longer a natural self-healing function for many but a source of intense struggle.
To sleep better, people turn to sleep meds, alcohol, and recreational drugs to numb the mind and get some much-needed shut-eye. While the body is resting, a crucial element of natural sleep - REM sleep, is missing or distorted, where most dreams occur to consolidate memories and process emotions. The misuse and overconsumption of substances not only fail to cure sleep problems but often cause addiction, which leads to a whole host of other societal issues.
Restful sleep depends on peace of mind. To make peace with our sleep so it can sustain and restore us requires a deliberate effort to release and regulate our emotions. We can't always control what happens to us, but we can control how we feel and how to respond. One way to do so is to limit your exposure to stress triggers, such as news and social media. Divert your time towards relaxing and joyous activities, such as hiking or listening to music. These approaches are commonly advised to improve mental health; however, in tumultuous times such as now, they are not enough.
Extreme times call for extreme measures. Ordinarily, I am a very calm person. However, during the early days of the pandemic, like many business owners and working mothers, I experienced unprecedented stress from sudden changes in my family and work life. I suffered from chronic pain in my left shoulder triggered by overwhelming stress, which caused disturbances in my sleep.
During a hypnotherapy session for pain relief, I dreamt that I was in the deep ocean, and an octopus swam out of my left shoulder. It circled me slowly and shapeshifted into a giant healing sphere. I moved inside and found my energy body dissolving into the healing light surrounding me. Upon waking, I felt a profound sense of revival and well-being.
Over the last twelve months, I have developed a Waking Dream Therapy to help myself and others release stress and pain naturally. I have been offering it for free virtually every Wednesday and worked with over two hundred people from all walks of life with overwhelmingly positive feedback.
With breathwork and visualization, I lead people inwardly into a serene underwater dreamscape to relax, release blockages, and connect to healing energy. Consistently, my participants report feeling lighter, more balanced and peaceful after the session. Here are some of the things they are saying:
"The session with Linda tapped into the innate connection between my mind, body and spirit. Allowing this connection to be facilitated by deliberate practice is important to manage the stress, anxiety and other draining emotions that are experienced throughout our busy day. Linda provides a space to contemplate and let go of these emotions that can be a cause of physical ailments, such as depression and insomnia. After our session, my husband and I had the best sleep in a long time!" - C.A.
“With the stress from my surgery and some other struggles in life lately, this was a much-needed relaxing experience. I couldn't believe how interactive and vivid the visions were being that I was with my eyes closed. I know a few people who have tried lucid dreaming for their own healing but I was never able to accomplish it myself.” - A.K.
“There is such serenity to the dreaming journey - it is transformative and profound. ” - K.N.
While touring my dream, many participants "saw" unique dream elements, such as whales, dolphins, mermaids, deities, and childhood memories, indicating that they were not just meditating but dreaming while awake. These personal dream elements are significant and offer additional healing insights.
The COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the looming global war have caused widespread suffering, anxiety, and conflicts. I see my Waking Dream Therapy as a much-needed practice to reduce physical and mental pain, restore inner calm, and make peace with oneself and others. Only when we are at peace in our sleep and dream can we make real peace in the waking world.
My Waking Dream practice has taught me that everyone in your life is a soulmate taking part in your journey, even your enemies and those you dislike. To make peace is not about stopping hurting them, but letting go of your past traumas, so you can sleep better and enjoy waking up every day. We all come from and are part of the same light despite our differences.
I welcome you all to join me to release stress and pain and make peace with sleep every Wednesday, 8-9 PM Pacific Time. It's free, and everyone is welcome. To register, please visit http://ow.ly/1r7350I7phR.
By Bei Linda Tang, Founder of Dream Heals, Owner/Creative Director of Dream Designs, and author of Navigate Life with Dreams